Outdoor Dining in Munich’s Beer Gardens

Food — By Mike Richardson on July 20, 2011 at 6:43 pm

When most people in Munich think of outdoor dining one image comes to mind:  that of a beer garden. Beer gardens are the warm weather equivalent of Munich’s famous beer halls and are just as diverse. Usually most beer gardens stick to traditional Bavarian foods such as roast pork, rotisserie chicken, and fish on a stick. Bringing your own food is also encouraged, but you must buy your drinks from the self serve part of the beer garden. The traditional beer gardens are located outside of the city center, but not far enough to keep you from visiting.

These are thought of as family -friendly picnic areas, not as hardcore binge drinking establishments. If you’re looking to get drunk and party, it’s probably best to seek out the dance clubs near the University or the Ostbahnhof. Beer gardens are for dining, families, and friendly conversation.

A couple of beers at the Park cafe

Here are a few beer gardens to have a look at:

  • The Hirschgarten:  The largest beer garden in the world with 8,000 seats, offering Augustiner, HB Tegerseer, and Kaltenberger beers. For families, the Hirschgarten also happens to have fenced in deer (hence the name).
  • The Augustiner Keller is one of the most popular beer gardens in town. Its proximity to the train station, and therefore most of Munich’s hotels, make this an easy choice after a long day of touring. This one is slightly smaller with only 5,000 seats.  If it wasn’t clear from the name, the beer on offer here is Augustiner.
  • The Chinese Tower is another popular place, with around 7,000 seats situated in the English Garden. The beer on choice here is Hofbräu and this makes a nice stop if doing a cycling tour of the city.
  • The Löwenbräu Keller, located a five minute walk north of the main train station, is of course a famous beer hall, but it also offers over 1,000 seats outside making for a nice relaxing beer garden with great food and drink. This is the flagship beer hall and garden of Löwenbräu.
  • The Park Café is often overlooked because of its name. However, the Park it’s located closer to the center of town than any other beer garden, and quite sizable with over 2,000 seats. It happens to be in the old botanic garden and although it is only a five-minute walk from the hustle and bustle of the city, it is quite calm and relaxed. The beer on tap here is Löwenbräu.
  • Paulaner am Nockherberg is the beer garden just outside of the Paulaner brewery, far away from 99% of the tourists, lending this place a very Bavarians-only feeling. At the same time, it has over 3,000 seats and during festivals like Starkbierfest it can totally fill up. It is still easily accessible by tram or U-bahn. Only Paulaner beers are sold here.
Tags: Bavarian food, beer, bier, dining, family, garden, garten, German food, outdoor, picnic, Traditional